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Retired Episcopal priest from England who served in Alton could be allowed to stay in U.S.

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Thursday, October 11, 2018  |  Article  |  By Leah Thorsen St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Election Issues (not candidates) (39)

The Rev. David Boase, 69, is accused of voting illegally in one federal election while living in Illinois — something he said he didn’t know was against the law at the time.

His attorney, David Cox, had intended to ask that Boase be allowed to voluntarily leave the country so he could hopefully return again at some point.

But during a telephone hearing Monday with an immigration judge in Kansas City, he instead asked that Boase be allowed to stay under what’s known as a “cancellation of removal,” which is based a standard of the person’s good moral character.

The vote in Illinois was flagged recently when Boase, a legal permanent resident, applied for U.S. citizenship. He has said that he went to an Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles office in 2005 to get a driver’s license using his British passport as proof of identification. When a supervisor asked if he wanted to register to vote, he thought he was allowed to do so, so he said yes. Boase was registered, and he voted in one election in 2006. A parishioner later explained the law to him, and he never voted again, he said.

Boase served as a priest for a decade in the Episcopal Parish of Alton, at St. Paul’s Church and Trinity Chapel. He retired four years ago but still performs religious duties when needed.

“He was so overcome with happiness,” Cox said of Boase’s reaction when he learned there was an avenue that could allow him to stay in the United States.

Another teleconference with an immigration judge in Kansas City is set for April 23, after which a final decision is expected fairly soon.